Court hears $9.6 million Hard Rock Casino lien | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Court hears $9.6 million Hard Rock Casino lien

by Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com

The owners of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the contractor suing them for $9.6 million agreed to try and settle their differences on Wednesday.

Neva One attorney Leon Mead said the hearing was continued to give both the Park family and SMC Construction Co. time to try to settle their differences.

“We continued the hearing to give both parties about 60 days to try to resolve the issues, recognizing that the contractors are entitled to some money and the owners are entitled to the documentation to support how much money is owed.”

As a result of the continuance, both parties will exchange documents and a senior judge from the Nevada Supreme Court settlement program would be appointed to help resolve the lawsuit, Mead said.

Mead said court deadlines will be tolled 75 days so that subcontractors don’t have to fear incurring additional legal fees while the main parties work through their differences.

SMC Construction Co. filed a lien May 4 against Neva One, owned by the Park family, claiming that change orders issued during construction nearly doubled the cost of the hotel.

The Parks said they are seeking an audit of SMC and its subcontractors. Wednesday’s hearing was for a prejudgement for a writ of attachment to freeze the Parks’ assets.

“The issue is not the Parks’ ability to pay or even their not wanting to pay,” Mead told District Judge Tod Young in front of a gallery filled with 30 attorneys and contractors. “We would like to get backup from the contractor. We just want to go through the audits.”

Mead said the Parks were working to pay some subcontractors when they were served with the notice for the hearing.

Jon and David Park appeared in court. If the two parties cannot reach a settlement, the case could proceed to trial, but that would be a lengthy process.

SMC attorney Michael Springer called the company’s vice president Joe Stewart to the stand in support of the company’s effort to obtain the writ.

Springer entered two, foot-thick binders containing documents that Stewart said were a single change order for the Hard Rock.

Mead repeatedly objected to Stewart’s testimony or the entry of any documents from SMC into evidence at the hearing, but was overruled by Young. However, the judge said he hadn’t ruled on whether the documents’ contents were in evidence.

Mead sought a continuance to ensure that the documents were the same ones that were submitted to the Parks, and to depose Stewart.

Stewart said the Parks’ contract with SMC allowed for an audit both of the contractor and the subcontractors.

He testified that unlike previous change orders, SMC never received owners’ comments on the voluminous change order No. 4.

“We never got anything back from the owner about change order No. 4,” Stewart said.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Stateline opened Jan. 28 after being closed for nearly 10 months for renovations.

The Parks have said the lawsuit won’t affect the operation of the Hard Rock.


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